Pat Carney and the Dismantling of the National Energy Program

Tammy Nemeth


The Progressive Conservative energy policy initiative of 1984-1985 represented a distinct change not only in how policy was formulated but also in the party's vision of Canada. The Tories endeavoured to decentralize government, encourage cooperative federal-provincial relations, and develop an energy policy outside the bureaucracy through consultation with the oil industry. Patricia Carney played a vital role first as opposition energy critic and then as minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. She emphasized consultation and cooperation with industry and the provinces and accepted most of their input uncritically. These developments are explored through an examination of the policy-making process developed by the Conservatives in opposition, and then put into practice after they took power in 1984.

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